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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Report: Video Captures Final Moments Inside Plane; Airline Admits They Knew About Co-Pilot's Severe Depression; Officials: Lubitz's Girlfriend Knew He Was Unfit to Fly. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired March 31, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:09] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, reports of new cell phone video recovered from the crash scene reportedly showing Flight 9525's final moments from inside that plane. The journalist who says he is viewed that video is OUTFRONT.
Plus Lufthansa now admitting it knew about Andreas Lubitz's depression problem, so why did the CEO say Lubitz was 100 percent fit to fly.
And more breaking news tonight, the protests in Arkansas, the governor following Indiana's lead about to sign a bill allowing the business owners to turn away gay costumers because of religion. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. We have reports of new and horrifying video surfacing tonight of the final minutes onboard Flight 9525. The German newspaper Bild says it has obtained cell phone video from onboard that plane taken seconds before the jet crashed into the French Alps. In a moment, we're going to speak to the editor-in-chief of the German video who says he seen that video.
Also breaking tonight, in an explosive admission, Lufthansa admits he knew all along that Andreas Lubitz was mentally ill. The airline suddenly revealing it's known Lubitz suffered from, quote, "severe depression for nearly five years." This announcement all the more shocking because it is just days after Lufthansa's CEO went before cameras insisting Lubitz was quote, "100 percent fit to fly."
Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT live in Dusseldorf, Germany. And Pamela, a pretty stunning admission from Lufthansa. How much information did Lufthansa have about Lubitz mental health condition?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: At this stage, the information that says it has is from 2009 from Andreas Lubitz himself, from medical documents he turned over back then saying that he had to take a break from training because of a severe about with depression that he had. The airline also saying that it these documents today after an internal investigation.
BROWN (voice-over): Tonight, Lufthansa are admitting it knew in 2009 during flight training with the airline that Andreas Lubitz had suffered from a quote, "previous episode of severe depression."
JIM PHILLIPS, GERMAN PILOTS ASSOCIATION: I would expect that Lufthansa would at the very beginning of the investigation would have handed over everything and would have worked with the prosecutor or the investigators to find solutions and if they withheld information intentionally, that's not good.
BROWN: Head of the German Pilots Association Jim Phillips says to the circumstances surround Lubitz's depression are a critical factor in determining whether he should have been able to become a commercial pilot in 2013.
PHILLIPS: I would hope that Lufthansa required him to see a psychologist.
BROWN: Sources tell CNN Lubitz, seen here flying a glider as a teenager, may have been afraid his medical issues would cost him his pilot's license. And that's is looked at as a primary motive behind what authority say, the deliberate crash of Flight 9525.
CHRISTOPH KUMPA, DUSSELDORF STATE PROSECUTOR: We haven't found a letter or anything like that. That contends a confession.
BROWN: A European government official tells CNN the co-pilot's girlfriend knew he had psychological issues but did not know the extent of the problems. The girlfriend also told investigators she knew Lubitz had been to see two doctors, an eye doctor and a neuropsychologist, and CNN has learned that both of them very recently deemed the co-pilot unfit to work after determining Lubitz had psychological issues including a psychosomatic disorder.
BROWN: As for Lufthansa, as soon as it found those medical records that Lubitz apparently handed over in 2009, as soon as they came across these records today, the airlines hasn't handed it over to the prosecutors here in Dusseldorf to help with the investigations -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Pamela, thank you very much live from Germany.
OUTFRONT now, Julian Reichelt, the editor-in-chief of the German magazine, Bild Online. And Julian, thank you for being with us. I know you have seen this video, you believe it was shot from inside the plane moments before it crashed, I know you described it as very shaky, what did you see?
JULIAN REICHELT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BILD ONLINE: Well, what we saw, Erin, is a shot taken in the cabin, that is a couple of seconds long and it appears to us that, you know, it was most likely in the final moments of that plane before it crashed into the mountains. As we wrote in our story that was initially reported by a Frederick Colbert (ph), very, you know, senior French reporter in collaboration with much of it. We wrote it's very shaky, it's very chaotic, but there are some things that are very much in line with what we not about the investigation so far. You know, you hear a sound of, a metallic sound that we believe is, you know, the knocking on the door, you see kind of a chaotic scene, you know, you're able to tell that there are people, although you're -- fortunately I may say here not able to identify any of them. You know, it is a very disturbing scene.
[19:05:29] BURNETT: So you are able to hear what might have been the banging of the captain and others on the cockpit door, you're able to hear passengers, obviously reacting. People are terrified at this time. Are you able to tell at any point what was exactly happening at that moment?
REICHELT: Well, what is happening is an again we are what we believe is in the very final moments of the plane, is you know, that plane heading downwards, people are being in panic, people are screaming and, you know, in the background, we hear that metallic bang that was talked about before. And what happens then is that, you know, something seems to hit the plane or the plane seems to hit something, and you know, it's jumping for quite, you know, quick moment, and we hear more screaming and that was the end of the sequence of we were able to see.
BURNETT: So, how was this video found? What we're trying to understand here is, did someone find a cell phone on that mountain? I mean, how did you end up with a copy of it. As you point out, your magazine, Bild has it, Paris Match also has it. But how did you get it? Where did it come from?
REICHELT: Well, obviously I cannot go into too much detail of where exactly it came from. You know, again, it was a collaboration between Paris Match and Bild. And it was initially reported by, you know, a very senior French reporter Frederick Colbert (ph), who you know, found this video with his sources and then went through the process of verifying it. And as we stated in our report, you know, it comes from, you know, the people who were, you know, investigating on the site, that's as much, you know, as we're going to say about it. But that is a rough direction.
BURNETT: Right. So let me just ask you, because I've got to be direct about this, I know you have seen it, you believe it to be real, what you describe is horrifying of what would be the final moments. But the French investigation agency in charge says they're not aware of any video and officials on the ground, the crash site told CNN any claims of a video are, quote-unquote, "completely wrong." I'm just trying to understand from you Julian, how confident are you? I mean, obviously, if this is real, this is the only video, there's no cockpit video, there is nothing. This is very significant. How confident are you that it is real?
REICHELT: Well, we are very confident about this and, you know, talking about the investigation, what I find interesting is what we learned today is that there actually were cell phones and, you know, storing devices picked up from the site, that is something we did not know before. And we did learn today that the French investigators are looking into that, that is something they revealed today after the report. Overall we can say that, you know, many things in that investigation weren't revealed by that investigation in the beginning, I would say the major breaking news coming out of this was, you know, revealed by the "New York Times." And you know, so we believe, you know, we are not sure -- what we cannot say is they have seen it, you know, we are -- it's impossible for us to verify that, but we learned that, you know, that kind of wreckage cell phone storing devices were recovered on the site. That's also what the French investigator said today.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Julian Reichelt, thank you very much, as we said the executive editor of Bild Online which obtained that video along with Paris Match magazine.
Richard Quest is with me now, along with Anthony Roman, certified commercial pilot. Richard, if this video is real, and now there are obviously sim cards on that site, there are cell phones, but if it's real at this point, it's the only video record there. It's not video in the cockpit, there's nothing. This is only the video record, it may be short, it maybe shaky but it maybe those last few moment, that could make it incredibly important, any kind of video record they can get.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: It's important in a sense it gives you a feeling of what happened, it doesn't tell you anything else. This video is two seconds long which is or few seconds long.
QUEST: It seems to have had an enormous amount of information. I have been talking just now for seven seconds.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, it corroborates the people are obviously in terror and people are screaming, that there was pounding on the cockpit door. Things we know from the recorder.
QUEST: How much do you want to know about how awful this moment was? That's what this really is all about? How dreadful do you feel the need to know?
ANTHONY ROMAN, LICENSED COMMERCIAL PILOT: But Richard, every piece of evidence in a criminal investigation and this is a lead criminal investigation. First, because in France, it is a crime to crash an aircraft, so therefore, every piece of evidence you have, no matter how short or how minuscule it is, stand by one second, because we can take that two-second video and forensically examine microsecond time of the video, and all sorts of information can be cleaned from that.
QUEST: I agree.
[19:10:27] BURNETT: And it is possible that the person who took that video at that moment, you know, it's right when they say the wing might have hit a mountain, this person knew at this moment they were going to die and they wanted to try to make a record so somebody could learn from it. QUEST: I agree with you completely about the significance of
this in that sense, but it shouldn't be printed first in Paris Match and Bild.
ROMAN: Agreed. We have to preserve the integrity of the investigation. There is a conundrum here, the press' right to know and distribute the information, to cross reference as the investigative agencies are doing the proper job. The public's need to know when right to know. However the investigative agencies also have a critical responsibility which takes press definite.
BURNETT: Right. To put things first.
BURNETT: It's obviously leaking when it shouldn't leak. But I want to ask you Richard because I know you have a strong view on this. This issue of severe depression, so Lufthansa says he's 100 percent fit to fly, obviously very shaken CEO said that. Now, it comes out, actually we knew about that severe depression episode five years ago, we let him finish his pilot's certification, hired him anyway.
QUEST: Because we don't know what they did. And I'm not saying, I'm not defending Lufthansa --
BURNETT: You're not defending them in their decision to hire him, right?
QUEST: No, no, no.
BURNETT: Right? Let's make that clear. Right?
QUEST: But we don't know what they did when he came back. This CEO, 100 percent fit to fly, Carsten Spohr. Carsten Spohr says he's fit to fly, he's just been told eight hours previously, or five hours previously his pilot crashed a plane. You're now asking about an event six or seven years ago from the same pilot. I understand, he can't have it both ways.
BURNETT: But why would you have said he was 100 percent fit to fly. He knew he had a mental depression --
QUEST: He didn't say that.
BURNETT: The airline knew, you don't think he went before the cameras before he checked the guy's records.
QUEST: I pretty certainly didn't know because as Pamela Brown has just reported, Lufthansa said we have just been into the deep files and we found this.
BURNETT: Well, then it's a lesson that he shouldn't have opened his mouth and said 100 percent fit to fly.
QUEST: You would be the first person sitting here criticizing him for not speaking on the day telling us about the pilot. BURNETT: Well, I just think he shouldn't have gone that far. He
shouldn't have been sort of --
ROMAN: He had a responsibility as CEO of an organization to have the information he needed at hand at that time.
ROMAN: That information would likely have been clearly stated in his personnel record, if they already had the information, which they have stated they didn't.
BURNETT: Right. The point is, Richard makes a point, they didn't have it when they spoke.
ROMAN: That information was readily available within their organization, why wasn't it transmitted to him or was it transmitted to him and they hadn't made a decision yet how to --
QUEST: Possibly. Possibly. But oh, how wonderful it is in the cold light of day to be able to say, when you've got 150 bodies on a mountainside, you've got a plane that just crashed, you've just been told by an investigator they've only discovered it that previous evening, remember this happened overnight.
QUEST: That plane crashed.
BURNETT: All that is true.
QUEST: And you have no reason at that point to be going and getting urgently, instantaneously or you're still trying to work out what happened. In the cold light of day, it's wonderful for us to sit here on Monday morning quarterbacking of it.
BURNETT: All right. We'll hit pause on that. We're going to be back in a moment.
UPFRONT next, investigators zeroing in on a motive. Obviously the crucial element here. Authorities now believe Lubitz brought down that plane out of his own fear but fear of what? And is there anything that would justify or make you feel empathy for a person who did what he did?
Plus, missed warning signs, the co-pilot's longtime girlfriend knew about his psychological problem. So, why didn't she alert anyone?
And the Indiana governor promises to, quote, "fix the law" that discriminates against gays and lesbians in his state, but what does fix mean? And guess what, there's a whole another state doing the same thing tonight, we'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:17:56] BURNETT: Tonight, new information on a possible
motive in the crash of Flight 9525. Sources tell CNN that investigators are focusing on the theory that the co-pilot was afraid of losing his pilot's license because of his medical problems. They believe this may be one of the reasons why 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz took down that plane murdering 149 others. Also tonight, Lubitz's girlfriend admits she knew he was having psychological issues and shouldn't have been on that cockpit, that's a stunning admission but it doesn't seem she told anyone.
Will Ripley is OUTFRONT.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Long before he was called a killer co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz was a boy who dreamed of flying, the son of church going parents, he grew up in Montabaur, Germany. Now, new details from the girlfriend he met in their hometown, including the revelation she was aware of his psychological problems and even knew he visited two doctors who told him he was unfit to fly. But even she was shocked by his actions, German investigators say Lubitz was suicidal, seeing a psychotherapist even before getting his pilot's license. Investigators believed burnout and stressed forced Lubitz to take a break from pilot's control. He worked as a flight attendant before finishing training and joining Germanwings, Lubitz's childhood dream of becoming a pilot may not have matched the demanding reality of the job.
(on camera): The pressure on pilots must be really extraordinary compared to other jobs.
DR. GERHARD FAHNENBRUCK, MAYDAY FOUNDATION PILOT AND PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, it is in general. And they have to be able to work almost perfectly at all times.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Lubitz moved about two hours from his hometown to this quiet corner of Dusseldorf, about 20 minutes from the airport.
(on camera): By the time Lubitz was living hire in what neighbors describe as a high end apartment, his psychological problems were apparently spiraling out of control.
(voice-over): Another ex-girlfriend, a flight attendant who he had a belief relationship with, described Lubitz to a German newspaper as very troubled, talking about doing something that will change the whole system. He sought help for his worsening mental health, but tore up doctor's note saying he was unfit to fly. All of it hidden from his fellow pilots.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He seemed to me quite normal.
RIPLEY: Nobody suspected what would happen when Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit steering flight 9525 on a terrifying collision course with the French Alps. Lubitz's aspiration have a career flying ending with an eight minute nightmare descent for his 149 helpless passengers and crew.
RIPLEY: Investigators have spoken with both of Lubitz's ex- girlfriend, his long-term girlfriend, the one he met in his hometown when he was flipping burgers at Burger King, she had actually hoped that they would be getting back together. She said they had had a rough patch, she knew that he was having problems, she knew he had visited two doctors who said that he was unfit to fly. But even she was not aware of what Lubitz was planning. So, it just goes to show Erin, you could be in a relationship with somebody think that you know them and then something like this happens and apparently still no clues, no indication that anybody knew he was planning to do this.
BURNETT: All right. Will Ripley, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, our safety analyst David Soucie who's investigated crashes for nearly 20 years and forensic psychologist Dr. Brian Russell.
Dr. Russell, let me start with you because we're just hearing about Lubitz's girlfriend. You heard Will reporting, she knew he had problems, she knew that he had visited two doctors, those two doctors said he was unfit to fly. So, she knew all of those things, she had been with him for it appears seven or eight years, but she didn't say anything to anyone else. She didn't raise the red flag. Does that surprise you?
DR. BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: No. This is always the case, Erin. The pieces of the puzzle are out there. I mean, we saw it, even with 9/11, the pieces of the puzzle are always out there, it's just that nobody one puts them together until the devastating thing happens. That is way this kinds of evaluations have to be done not in a clinical way where the professionals clients is the guy or the woman the pilot, they have to be done in a forensic way where the professionals client is the airline or the aviation authority. So that you don't just rely on what the person reports to you like you would if you were providing clinical mental health services.
RUSSELL: You listen to that. But then you also get authorization from the person you talked to, friends, family, co- workers and directly to the employer so that you can gather the pieces and hopefully put it together. You can't always do it, but the chances are much higher when you approach it forensically rather than clinically.
[19:22:33] BURNETT: So, what I'm trying to understand Dr. Russell is, you know, we hear about that he had massive psychological issues, okay, we understand that. That would explain why someone kills themselves, to most of us it that does not explain, it does not excuse, it does not in any way add up to why you would murder 149 people, why you chose to kill yourself. It's almost impossible to have empathy for this person considering that is what, what he has said to have done. So what makes someone suicidal become homicidal because he did murder 149 people?
RUSSELL: Well, you're making a great point that everybody watching tonight ought to think about just on their own, because at some point, psychology leaves off and what has to come in is philosophy. So psychology can explain why somebody would turn rage inward on themselves about the fact that maybe they weren't going to get to keep doing their job and they're upset about that and so they're suicidal.
RUSSELL: But there is no mental illness that explains why somebody then feels entitled to also take that rage and turn it outward on 149 other people who had nothing to do with the person's problems. That is -- I mean, psychologists will come up with a nice clinical sounding name for that, psychopathy. I call it evil. And I don't mean that in a religious sense at all. I mean that in the sense of wantonly, willfully, gratifying or soothing yourself by causing suffering for others. Everybody watching tonight has to decide what they want to call it.
BURNETT: Yes. I mean, David Soucie, as someone who investigates this, what do you call it, when you look at something like this that is so possible to understand, I think Dr. Russell points out a word most people are using, evil is a word that a lot of people think of.
DAVID SOUCIE, FORMER FAA ACCIDENT INVESTIGATOR: Well, what I would call it at this point is just murder, because we don't know anything more about whether this was psychologically driven whether there are outside forces, because you know, and I have dealt with mental illness throughout members of my family, even and tried to work that together and try to figure out how this works, and you just can't figure it out, and this is the challenge. Just being able to put a measure on it and say, yes, this person had some challenges, this person had problems that they were dealing with. But at what point do you feel qualified as a person that's not trained unlike the doctor here to say this is the line, this is the bottom-line, this is the point at which above this threshold you can't fly because you're going to endanger people, but people that threshold you can't. It's a fine line, it has to be a fine line.
BURNETT: So David, before we go --
SOUCIE: It's a challenge we have to work with.
BURNETT: Quickly before we go though, the bottom-line here, question is, if someone is diagnosed with severe depression as he was, the airline knew it. Do we now change the lessons? I mean, it used to be you couldn't fly if you had that diagnosis, then there was treatment, drugs that worked very well, people are allowed to fly, is that now going to change?
SOUCIE: No, it shouldn't. We're not going to throw out the baby with the bath water. What we have to do is found out what went wrong with this particular case. It's not a systemic thing except for the fact the regulations has to change or be enforced differently. BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you. And
OUTFRONT next, outrage cross the country, the sponsor, the bill the critics say allows businesses to turn away gay costumers, that sponsor is our guest OUTFRONT tonight. He'll make his case.
And Martha Stewart like you have never seen her before, roasting Justin Bieber.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA STEWART, TV PERSONALITY: I'm talking about a player in the board room and a freak in the bedroom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:29:55] BURNETT: Breaking news. Protests in Arkansas tonight after the legislature passes a controversial religious freedom bill. The Governor is expected to sign that bill at any time. It's very similar to the one in Indiana that's causing a huge backlash. Critics say it allows businesses to turn away gay customers. And today Indiana's Governor says he's going to, quote, "fix the law," it's unclear what that means though.
And Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT from Indianapolis.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anger growing across Indiana. In Bloomington, hundreds of protesters keeping up the pressure against the Religious Freedom Act.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: It's been a tough week here in the Hoosier state, but we're going to move forward.
MARQUEZ: In a stunning change of position, Indiana's Republican governor says despite the bill not inviting discrimination, he still wants a fix.
PENCE: I have come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone.
MARQUEZ: Pence says he will not sign legislation including statewide protections based on sexual orientation, and he still dodges on the question of whether Christian-based businesses should be exempt from providing services for same-sex weddings.
REPORTER: Do you personally believe that Christian businesses that have deeply held beliefs about marriage should be compelled to supply services, whether it's photography, flowers, baking --
PENCE: I don't support discrimination against anyone. The question that you pose, though, I believe is, it's -- we're dealing here in a free society, with always a careful balancing of interests. And the facts and circumstances of each case determine the outcome.
MARQUEZ: Democrats here say the only deal they'll accept is repeal and if Republicans try to push something through without their input?
TIM LANANA (D), INDIANA STATE SENATOR: My gosh, what message does that send to everybody? Their way or the highway? They won't listen to anyone.
MARQUEZ: Across the nation, pressure ramping up.
PROTESTER: We shall overcome!
MARQUEZ: In Arkansas, where a similar bill could soon be law, the Republican governor there says he'll sign it. Arkansas-based Walmart came out opposed. In Georgia, the Republican governor says he'll sign a similar bill. But North Carolina's Republican governor says he'll veto a religious freedom bill similar to Indiana's.
MARQUEZ: Now, a little bit of breaking news here out of Indiana. This morning, they had already some language drafted for this fix. I have just spoken to a Republican staffer here who says that the speaker of the House is now going back to stakeholders across the state to figure out a new fix for this Religious Freedom Act and they expect to have it in conference committee tomorrow or Thursday, and possibly to the governor's desk before the end of the week. A herculean task when it comes to the government -- Erin.
BURNETT: Certainly. All right. Miguel, thank you very much.
And joining me now, Bill Kristol, he's editor of "The Weekly Standard", and Karen Finney, a Democratic strategist and political commentator for us.
Bill, let me start with you, because Miguel was just reporting that breaking news about this, quote-unquote, "fix", right? So, Governor Pence was defending this law. He had an op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal" this morning, so it doesn't allow for discrimination. Now, he's going to put his fix in that would ostensibly, the understanding is, we haven't seen the wording, but the understanding is, it would make sure that you could not discriminate against gays and lesbians.
So, is the governor doing the right thing or is he bowing to critics and backing down when he shouldn't?
BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I don't personally think a fix is necessary. I live in Virginia, which has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and gays and lesbians are not being discriminated against. They're not being denied services and public accommodations and so forth.
But he's under a huge amount of pressure from the business community. They have been unfairly attacked and kind of a mob hysteria has whipped up against them. And I can see he's the governor of the state. He has the responsibility to try to calm things and maybe in that respect, he's doing the right thing.
BURNETT: So, Karen, I want to try to understand it from both sides. If someone's religion makes them believe that being gay is wrong, that's what their religion makes them believe, should they have to serve a gay customer? I mean, why should religious freedom be secondary to the rights of others?
KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, Erin, I'm going to put this in a very personal context. Religion can be used to justify all kinds of things. And in our country, we don't discriminate, and the previous law of 1993, that has been cited, that was in regard to the federal government, the intentions had been, the federal government, an individual or a group, if you read the legislation in Indiana, individual is everything from a person, organization, partnership, LLC, religious society. So, in point of fact, it does codify discrimination.
And I can tell you that my own grandfather who was white used the Bible to justify why I was not allowed in his home because he believed miscegenation of the races was wrong. He obviously -- we all think that's crazy now, and he obviously change his ways.
[19:35:01] But my point is, this is a very slippery slope and we used to believe these things and use these kinds of laws against African-Americans and other groups in this country and we finally said, you know what? We don't discriminate.
And I think that's what's getting lost here in this conversation, because I think Governor Pence is trying to be a little cute by half by saying, well, we didn't mean to the discriminate.
KRISTOL: We didn't use this law against African-Americans. This law was passed for the first time at the federal level in 1993. It was never used against a single African-American. It's never been used --
FINNEY: I didn't say that it was, I said in the past, we have had previous laws.
KRISTOL: Well, this is a different law. So, let's discuss this law. This law exists in 20 states. Show me the examples, show me the examples of people who have been discriminated against or denied service.
BURNETT: I'm talking about explicit carve-outs for gays and lesbians so that you cannot discriminate.
KRISTOL: There's not in Virginia. And the fact is, if you went to court, you could not deny service at a public accommodation.
But do you believe, do you believe that a person should be forced to participate, let's say at some mom and pop florist or baker in a same-sex wedding when his or her religion says there shouldn't be same sex wedding. I think that's at least the latest call. I think that's the least you should be able to go to court and make your case that you are not compelled to provide services to a wedding that you don't approve of.
FINNEY: Well, people can still though under this law. They can -- with or without this law, they can still go and try to make their case. I guess the point I'm making is it begins to be a slippery slope, when the initial intention, Governor Pence continued to say, this is about the government not infringing upon religion.
And that's not what the language says, and, frankly, many of the people who stood with him when he signed this legislation, said very clearly, their intention was to use this law to discriminate against gay people. They said it. They've been quoted saying it.
KRISTOL: I'm sorry, if you think it is discrimination for my synagogue not to perform same sex wedding, then you're right. Then there's not religious freedom right in this country. If you think that religious institutions and religious individuals have some rights not to participate when there's no compelling state interest in something like a wedding, where they don't approve of it, then I think it's a much closer call, and I think as long as there's a reasonable attempt to balance the books here.
FINNEYT: But again, this law actually goes far beyond that and says a restaurant -- and actually there was a gentleman on today who owns a restaurant in Indiana who says, yes, I'm going to use that law so I don't have to serve gay people. I mean, this law allows for a much --
KRISTOL: I'm sorry. That's just not true. That person is misinterpreting the law. This law exists and it has been litigated in many states. You're inventing hypotheticals to discredit a law that exists in many 20 states, and it has not been used this way.
FINNEY: I'm reading to you the actual language in the law which --
KRISTOL: No, you're not.
FINNEY: Section Nine, a person defined as individual, organization --
KRISTOL: The federal law also applies as we know to corporation. That's why Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court decided it did have the right not to provide abortion --
FINNEY: But again, that's about the federal government not infringing on the law.
KRISTOL: Well, what about the state government? What about the state government.
FINNEY: This goes beyond that, though, is the point, Bill. BURNETT: All right. Well, you know, it's a fascinating
discussion, because you can see how heated people get around this country.
Well, next, we're going to talk to a sponsor of one of these laws, he's going to make his case. Arkansas is the next battleground and the man who is sponsoring that bill to do the same thing here is my guest.
And Iran given an ultimate tonight. The deadline for that nuclear deal has passed. So, now, the deadline is gone, as the cock crows.
We'll be back.
[19:42:15] BURNETT: Breaking news, protests in Arkansas as that state's governor is getting ready to sign a religious freedom law that critics say will allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. The law is similar to the one passed just days ago in Indiana.
Arkansas State Senator Bart Hester is the primary sponsor of Arkansas' bill.
All right. Senator, thank you so much for coming on. I know, you know, a lot of people are not on your side on this one. So, I want to give you a chance to explain what you think this is and why you're doing it.
So, let me just start with this basic premise. I want to understand it. In theory, your law would allow under the auspices of religious freedom a small business, the owners say they're very religious, they don't believe in gay marriage, or they don't believe in gay couples, right? So they then do not have to serve a gay couple because of that religion. That is something your law would allow among other things, correct?
BART HESTER (R), ARKANSAS STATE SENATE: Well, no, I disagree and I would like to go back and say that I feel like a majority of Americans are on my side on this issue. This bill does not give an individual the right to discriminate. This gives an individual the right to hold their strongly held religious beliefs and a right to the First Amendment and the freedom of speech.
BURNETT: So, what I don't understand -- OK, so, I understand you're saying, this is to express their religious beliefs. But you are saying at the expense of someone else's freedom. So, if my religious beliefs say I don't serve someone who's gay, or I don't serve someone who's black who's marrying someone who's white, I can deny service to those people?
HESTER: Again, you know, I disagree, this bill is not about discrimination. This bill is about First Amendment and a person's right to believe. And your rights stop where someone else's rights start. I mean, that's the basis of what America is. I do feel like, you know, we continued, to use it, a right of a
baker not to perform his services at a homosexual wedding, I think if he holds that as a sincerely held religious belief, he has that right. I do not feel like he has the right to not service a homosexual couple by providing a cake. It's about the message that's on that cake. It's about freedom of speech.
BURNETT: So, you're saying he would have to bake the cake, but he wouldn't have to put congratulations on the top of it or something?
HESTER: That would be my opinion of the bill. That's absolutely right. And I would think I would give the same right to a Jewish baker to not have to put a swastika on a bill. I mean, this is about freedom of speech, not about discrimination.
BURNETT: All right. So you would have to serve the couple, you just wouldn't have to endorse what they're doing, it's where you're drawing the line.
So, we just had a guest on, I don't know if you heard her. She was talking about how her grandfather who was white wouldn't allow her to come go his house when she was younger because her parents were mixed race. And that was due to his religion. Now, she said over time he changed.
[19:45:00] But what I'm getting at is, you know, 50 years ago, 100 years ago, people would use religion to say blacks couldn't marry whites. Now, that's unacceptable in this country. That's what's happening with gay marriage. Sixty percent of Americans now support it.
Aren't you worried about being on the side of intolerance?
HESTER: I'm not on the side of intolerance at all. You know, I can't speak for someone's personal family beliefs, with the example that you gave me. But the reality is, I believe in the First Amendment. I believe in the right to hold religious beliefs. I believe in the right to freedom of speech.
That's what this bill talks about. It does nothing to promote or discourage sexual orientation in anyway.
BURNETT: Except for you don't have to sign -- you don't have to actually put a note on top of the cake, the distinction that you drew before.
HESTER: Yes, you nailed it. Freedom of speech, that's right.
BURNETT: So, some major companies are coming out against this, as you're well aware, Senator. Walmart is one of them. That's the largest private employer in the United States, certainly, the largest company in Arkansas. It's the largest retailer on earth, based in Arkansas, in Bentonville.
They have come out against this bill. Today, the CEO just moments ago actually put out a statement. I wanted to read it to you. It says, "Today's passage of HB-1228 threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of Arkansas and does not reflect the values we proudly uphold. For these reasons, we are asking Governor Hutchinson to veto the legislation."
How much does that concern you that Walmart is going to come out against what you're saying?
HESTER: You know, Walmart is in my district. I think I have a tremendous amount of respect for CEO, Mr. McMillon. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Walmart.
I think they're missing the point, just like so many are. If Mr. McMillon had the time in his day to read this bill for himself, he would understand that this is about First Amendment, freedom of speech, and he would agree with me.
BURNETT: Where do you draw the line? So, when you said you would allow someone to -- you have to bake the cake, but you don't have to put "congratulations" if it's a gay couple. So if my religion says, I do not believe in blacks and whites getting married, I would have to bake them a cake, but I wouldn't -- I could also say I don't put congratulations on that because I don't believe in mixed race marriages?
HESTER: Again, you know, I can't speak for anyone else's strongly held religious belief.
BURNETT: But your law would allow that, right?
HESTER: Well, it would allow them a defense. But I certainly do not believe discrimination in any way and I wouldn't support it.
BURNETT: All right. Senator Hester, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight, sir.
HESTER: Hey, thank you for having me.
BURNETT: All right. And next breaking news with Iran, given an ultimatum, a deadline to reach a nuclear deal expired.
And how Snoop Dogg helped Martha Stewart prepare for Justin Bieber's roast, with one word -- brownies.
[19:51:15] BURNETT: Breaking news: the deadline to reach a nuclear deal with Iran is now passed but U.S. and Iranian officials are not quitting. They say they're still staying at the table. They have extended the deadline. Well, they've been doing that for 15 months. But now, they're only getting one extra day, so they say.
Now, this is a big deadline though. They had been more than a year of discussions. So, can one day actually make a difference?
Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT from Washington.
Jim, it is hard not to roll your eyes when they give this deadline. They delay it, you know, umpteen times, 15 months go by, this is the day, this is the day, and then they go, wait, one more day.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the hours keep adding up now. You have a bit of a pressure tactic from the French side, threatening to leave early in the morning unless there's an agreement. In past rounds of these talks, the French have sometimes been the bad cop to kind of force things here.
But keep in mind, we really have to manage expectations for what the best is they could get out of this even tomorrow. They're working on a very general, political agreement. The Iranians are loathed to sign anything on paper. They're more focused on that later deadline.
This is going to be more like a memorandum of understanding than an interim agreement here. They're really punting on some of the most difficult issues until later in June.
BURNETT: All right. So, basically, it sounds like what you're saying is, I get bullet points of we're going to talk about centrifuges, but then the numbers are not filled in. I mean, is that real progress?
SCIUTTO: You might not even get bullet points on paper. You might just get a general statement of it, maybe a fact sheet to follow.
But some of the biggest issues, like, for instance, how quickly do you lift economic sanctions on Iran, that's still undecided. Does Iran ship its nuclear stockpiles, uranium stockpile out of the country to be reprocessed? That's still on the table. So, really got some hardwood to do to bridge those remaining gaps.
BURNETT: I mean, those are incredibly difficult gaps. I mean, I guess the bottom line question in a very serious way here, you've had this delay for over a year. And it looks like when you're talking about the fundamental issues, the fundamental issues not being decided, we could be talking about a long time from here. I mean, really, we say there's a deal but there's no deal for months.
SCIUTTO: You could be. Now, U.S. officials involved in negotiations will say they started with hundreds of issues, they've reached agreement on many of those issues and, you know, maybe half a dozen remain. The trouble is half of the dozen are some of the most difficult ones. Big question is to whether they can get to an agreement by the end of June.
And I would just encourage you and us and everybody watching to manage expectations. If they do come to an agreement tomorrow after the deadline, as to what that agreement will look at, how hard and fast it is.
BURNETT: They will agree that they will one day agree. SCIUTTO: Exactly.
BURNETT: I know it's not even something to laugh out, but it is sort of sad.
All right. Thank you very much, Jim Sciutto.
And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on Martha Stewart's prison advice for Justin Bieber.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA STEWART, LIFESTYLE GURU: The first thing you'll need is a shank. I made mine out of the pintail comb and a pack of gum.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:57:47] BURNETT: Martha Stewart is known for making a good dirty martini but did you know she was good at dirty jokes?
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you think the only thing Martha Stewart can roast is turkey, wait until you see her at the Justin Bieber roast.
STEWART: By the way, Natasha, I do a lot of gardening but you are without a doubt the dirtiest used up (EXPLETIVE DELETED) I have ever seen.
MOOS: She was flinging mud instead of potting soil.
STEWART: Organic potting soil.
MOOS: It was a side of Martha we'd never seen. We expected the prison jokes at her expense.
NATASHA LEGGERO, ACTRESS: All these rappers on stage and Martha Stewart has done the most jail time.
KEVIN HART, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: Put your ankle bracelet on vibrate so we don't have no problem.
MOOS: It was even worse to come from Justin Bieber himself but Martha just caught an eyebrow. After all, when it was her turn, things came out of her mouth we can't begin to repeat.
STEWART: Ludacris. You have three kids with three women. May I suggest (EXPLETIVE DELETED) on some fine highly absorbent Martha Stewart bed linens?
MOOS: Airing dirty laundry while still flogging her sheets. Her viewers were awestruck. Martha absolutely crushed it, killed
it, delivered the sickest burns. She was the baddest (EXPLETIVE DELETED) of all.
Watch your mouth out, Martha, preferably with one of your fragrant homemade soaps.
STEWART: What a beautiful block of soap.
MOOS: It was the cell block she saved for Bieber, giving Justin tips for when, as Martha put it, he inevitably ends up in prison.
STEWART: The first thing you'll need is a shank.
MOOS: She advised Justin to find himself the right girl.
STEWART: Someone you can smoke a joint with or indulge in an occasional three way.
So, Justin, my final piece of advice is, call more or --
MOOS: Remember the good old innocent roasts when even a turkey's rear end could make Martha blush.
STEWART: Please turn it around the other way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turn it around the other way?
STEWART: It's been looking right into me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I'm sorry.
STEWART: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: You got to give her a lot of credit for that.
All right. Well, thanks so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR so you can record OUTFRONT and watch us anytime.
In the meantime, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" begins right now.